Education scores top marks with investors

Education offers one of the most attractive opportunities in Turkey. A young population, coupled with increasing incomes, and increasing numbers of foreign students choosing Turkish universities for their studies will be a magnet for those looking for a solid long-term investment.

According to Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data, the population of Turkey reached 78 million people in 2015. Turkey has the highest proportion of young people when compared with members or candidates of the European Union in 2015. The youthfulness of the population ensures a constant flow of investments in education. According to TurkStat’s 2014 Education Statistics, the year-on-year increase on education expenditure was 13.2 per cent in 2014 and the total spending reached 113.57 billion Turkish lira. In addition, 47.9 per cent of all private institution spending on education, which totalled 9.09 billion Turkish lira, was made for higher education. According to a report by Higher Education Council (YÖK - Yüksek Öğretim Kurumu), 72,178 foreign students were educated in Turkey in the 2014- 2015 academic year. Istanbul University was the favoured public university for foreign students from 240 countries, followed by Marmara University, and Anadolu University.

The foundation university with the highest number of foreign students was Fatih University. Universities such as Bahçeşehir and Istanbul Aydın are also top choices for foreign students. YÖK has determined the quota of foreign students at 142,317 places in the 2015-2016 academic year; indicating near exponential growth in the numbers of foreign students coming to Turkey.

Like any other industry today, progress in education is technology-based. Turkey keeps up with the world through the application of technology, and hightech companies and schools collaborate on many projects. A revolution is unfolding in schools., with, technology ushering in advances such as online homework environments, touch screen tables, tablets for experiments, QR codes, and 3D labs.

A bright future

The education sector in Turkey promises a bright future. Thanks to incentives in education, existing investors can grow their businesses, and new investors can enter the sector. There are many options for those who wish to invest in education. Investors should first determine their target audience, and then decide on their concept. One option is to become the representative of companies that provide a distinctive educational methodology, or to acquire the franchise of a present college or school. Investment costs depend on the scope of work for those who wish to invest in education – 10,000 Turkish lira may be enough to establish a school focusing on mental arithmetic, but an investment of around 200,000 Turkish lira is required to set up a kindergarten. Acquiring the franchise of a college costs 400,000 to 450,000 Turkish lira, along with an investment in the school itself which costs at least as much.

Incentives for investors

Announced in August 2015, the new Law on Investments designates education as a priority area. Investments on education within the scope of the incentives involve completely new school investments, investments to increase student capacity, investments on school equipment modernisation, and construction of additional units such as school buildings, conference halls, cafeterias, and sports facilities. The proportion of private schools in education in Turkey is 5 per cent, whereas the average in OECD countries is 25 per cent. This figure alone tells us that there is still massive untapped potential in private education.

Naqeeb ALIMOHAMED, Kenya

When I decided to study in Istanbul, I was ecstatic because it a globally known metropolis, steeped in history. Previously, I had seen pictures of Istanbul and it was a beautiful place. Based upon my experience, I can say that the people of this beautiful city will go out of their way to help you, even as far as walking you to your destination. In addition, I must say that the education system is fairly organised, I had the opportunity to receive an education about the subjects that interest me a lot. Facilities of the school were satisfactory. All in all, Istanbul has its own kind of order and its spark lights up all the corners.

Caroline GENRE, France

When I came to Turkey for the first time in 1996, I wasn’t thinking that I would dispose my bags at Istanbul 10 years later, to study at Galatasaray University. I immediately found this city splendid. Since the first day, I met helpful people who were a little shocked to see me there. Studying in Istanbul was one of my biggest adventures. This city has a big energy that makes you forget your problems. That was a big occasion; I received a very qualified education. After my undergraduate study, I was sure that I wanted to stay here and, here I am 10 years later, always in love with Istanbul.